The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 13 March 2010 / 26 Adar I 5770

In Place of a Gift

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Many wonder stories are told about the "Jerusalem Tzaddik", Rabbi Aryeh Levin, of blessed memory.

His renowned son-in-law, the generation's foremost halachic authority, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, is reported to have told the story of how this saintly man and his wife merited raising such an outstanding family.

It is a widespread custom in Eretz Yisrael for a chatan to give his kallah a gift when they enter the privacy of the yichud room following the chupah. But Rabbi Levine was so poor that he could not afford to buy a present. Instead he informed his new wife that in place of a gift he would present her with a promise that whenever they would have a discussion in their married life he would concede that she is right. Her response was that she was reciprocating with a promise that she would always concede that he was right.

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